MHSS launches book series for seafarers’ mental wellbeing

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Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS), a leading provider of mental health support services in the maritime industry, has published a comprehensive series of books tailored specifically to supporting seafarers in understanding and addressing mental health challenges at sea.

Developed by MHSS CEO and Clinical Psychologist Charles Watkins and his team, the series aims to provide crew members with the necessary tools to recognise, understand, and support colleagues who may be experiencing difficulties which could impact their wellbeing onboard ship.

Charles Watkins (pictured) emphasised the importance of cultural understanding in addressing mental health concerns among seafarers: “Everyone has a different response to social situations, for example some cultures may be comfortable in close proximity to other people while others may prefer a little more physical distance.

“These cultural nuances highlight the need for seafarers to engage with one another, learn to read the social cues being displayed and respect each other’s boundaries,” he said.

According to Mr Watkins, with diverse nationalities and cultures on board, a change in behaviour or response from a colleague “may indicate underlying mental health concerns, so it’s crucial for crew members to be vigilant and mindful of these signs to offer support and create a nurturing environment onboard.”

The series of books covers a range of topics including Anxiety, Depression, Bullying, Loss, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Stress Prevention – all common issues faced by seafarers worldwide.

Mr Watkins added: “These topics are frequently encountered by our global team of clinical psychologists which is why we’re addressing these issues head-on through educational resources to engage with seafarers and hopefully support those at sea so there is a more understanding environment onboard.”

Veronika Cernakova, Head of Marketing and Communications at MHSS, said: ” Our team was keen to showcase how seemingly small actions can have a profound impact, such as a passing comment leading to someone feeling upset. That’s why we designed these books – to provide insight and promote a kinder, more accepting, and supportive environment onboard vessels. We are pleased to say that the feedback to date on the books has been very positive.”

By providing valuable knowledge and guidance, MHSS aims to empower seafarers to proactively address mental health concerns and create a supportive community at sea.

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